Residents have a chance to connect on CenturyLink issues

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Many citizens in rural Virginia, including Prince Edward and Buckingham counties, have faced issues with phone and internet quality from CenturyLink. These problems will be heard by the state this week.

After hearing more than enough complaints, Buckingham Board of Supervisors Chair Thomas Jordan Miles III reported the issues to the state in October. The complaints were about telephone and internet service, including dropped calls, intermittent internet outages or loss of service.

The State Corporation Commission (SCC) will consider the complaints as CenturyLink is looking to transfer its assets to Connect Holding LLC, a company known for having the highest-speed fiber optic internet experience, according to its about section on Remotive.com.

“Unfortunately, there is not a lot that we as a county can do to fix these issues,” said Prince Edward County Administrator Doug Stanley. “With the SCC taking testimony on the pending sale/transfer of assets, this is an excellent opportunity for their voices to be heard, and we are encouraging them to use their voice to advocate for improvements.”

According to Stanley, even though he has not formally received complaints, he has heard many complain about the speed and reliability issues that residents are facing, including internet connectivity being very slow or out for an extended period.

Buckingham and Prince Edward counties asked residents to sign up to voice their complaints to the SCC either by written comment or phone call. Those who responded to the postings will be able to voice these complaints on Feb. 23. Then, between Feb. 24 and May, the SCC will decide how to move forward with CenturyLink and Connect Holding regarding the complaints.

One of the many effects of COVID-19 is how much working, connecting and learning is taking place exclusively through technology, officials say. But unfortunately, this is not an option for citizens and businesses experiencing phone and internet outages.

“In today’s world, reliable telephone and internet service cannot be unaffordable luxuries or unreliable technology,” said Stanley. “They are critical communication infrastructures for our citizens, businesses and educational and healthcare institutions. For many of our citizens, the landline telephone is still their primary connection. For the increasing number of families in rural Virginia, who work from home and learn from home, reliable internet is a requirement.”

Residents can tune into the hearing at 10 a.m. Feb. 23 at scc.virginia.gov/pages/Webcasting.